Posts by tag: parallel twin

Kawasaki February 1, 2021 posted by

KR1S KR0S: California-Titled 1991 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale!

Here in the US, the entire class of 250cc two-stroke sportbikes was long nearly impossible to come by and, let’s be honest, probably not much missed by the majority of the riding public. In a land of GSX-R1100s being ridden by guys who considered a mullet and wraparound shades to be adequate protection, the market for 45hp two-strokes was always going to be pretty limited. But if you were just the right kind of motorcycle enthusiast, it must have been excruciating to read about bikes like today’s Kawasaki KR-1S in the pages of Fast Bikes and other European magazines of the period.

It’s easier to get a number of these formerly forbidden fruits here these days, now that they’re legal to import. After all, the Honda NSR250R was in production from 1987 until 1996 so, if you’re not too picky about which particular NSR you get, it’s not really all that rare a bike in its home market: nearly 100,000 were built in total. But Kawasaki’s entry into the class is rare, even in Japan, and was only rarely seen outside its domestic market. And even then, just 10,000 were built between 1988 and 1992, the bike’s entire production run.

By the time the 90s had rolled around, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha had all shifted to v-twins, but Kawasaki stuck with a parallel twin configuration, with the engine hung completely beneath the typical aluminum beam frame of the class. Like every other two-stroke two-fiddy, the KR-1 was light, agile, and involving to ride. Technology in the hotly contested class was cutting edge, and Kawasaki brought their KIPS powervalve and a slick six-speed gearbox to the party. Power was officially limited to a government-mandated 45hp, but the bike was naturally capable of much more when derestricted.

There were three versions of the KR-1 available: the base KR-1, the KR-1S seen here that included wider wheels at the front and rear, and a few hundred examples of the KR-1R that featured larger carburetors and a close-ratio gearbox. Top speed was a frankly incredible as-tested speed of 139mph!

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale

A Very rare 17 digit frame (Australia) CA titled 1991 Kawasaki KR1S 250 two stroke bike. Bike is in excellent condition. Bike will come with a lot of NOS parts and engine parts as well. Feel free to message me if you have any questions thank you very much.

The price for this two-stroke unicorn is a steep $17,900. Is it worth it? Well that’s hard to say: if that Cali title is easily transferred and if that cache of parts is extensive, I’m sure it will be to the right buyer. You may have heard that there are lots of well-heeled enthusiasts here in California with more money than sense… If you’re interested, move fast: there’s just about one day left on this auction!

-tad

KR1S KR0S: California-Titled 1991 Kawasaki KR-1S for Sale!
Laverda January 22, 2021 posted by

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Imagine you are a motorcycle manufacturer and need some publicity. What is the best way to make a splash? Racing is the traditional route to make some noise, but comes with the risk of being beaten (sometimes badly) by the very competition you wish to minimalize in the market. One make race series are a great way to drum up some business – regardless who wins, it will always be your bike. A few manufacturers have attempted this over the years, with the BMW Boxer Cup being the most recent on the big bore side, although the KTM RC390 series that ran with Moto America also applies. A lesser known (at least in the US) series existed in Europe, known as the Coppa Laverda (Laverda Cup).

1979 Laverda Formula 500 for sale on eBay

Formula 500 bikes were developed to drum up interest in Laverda’s smaller lineup of motorcycles – in this case the 350cc and 500cc models. These were air-cooled parallel twins that looked to capture a market outside of the big twins such as the 750 SFC and even bigger triples such as the 1000cc Jota & RGS. The bikes were marketed in the US as the Zeta platform. The race bike (track only, with no lights or other street legal accessories) was essentially a stripped down version of the 500cc street bike. Mild tuning netted about 53 ponies, and the whole shebang was wrapped in beautiful fiberglass bodywork. Laverda provided technical support to the racers, who were all privateers (no professionals allowed). And while the race series was a success in terms of participation and action, Laverda was purported to have lost money on every small bore bike sold.

From the seller:
Sold on Bill of sale. No title. Not for street. Mileage unknown, no odometer.

This is the motorcycle that was reviewed in Motorcycle Classics March/ April 2014.
I acquired it to race in AHRMA, but change of plans.

This bike was restored by the leading Laverda experts here in the U.S. and has not been ridden since it’s latest refresh 18 months ago. Besides the original exhaust that is installed, I have a custom made exhaust that will work with the Montjuic body kit (I do not have), or with the original body kit with a slight mod to the headers to fit under the original fairing.

New spare tires also included. No paperwork available as the collector I bought it from did not pass along any he had. I will pass the collector name to the buyer so he / she can try to get any available. Also the original restoration photo CD of the bike should be available from the expert who did it.

By modern standards these Formula 500 bikes are vestiges of the Stone Age. Air cooling, two four valves per cylinder, small-ish disk brakes and twin rear shocks – all very adequate but nothing that screams “cutting edge.” But the race bikes were successful and competent machines, and today they are quite rare (numbers are uncertain, but are likely in the low 200 range of total units).

I’ve been tracking this example for a bit as it makes its way through the usual relisting process. To be honest, I’m not really sure why the lack of interest by the market in general although the opening ask may scare off some bidders. This bike has gone through a relatively recent restoration, however it sounds like some recommissioning may be in order before running this bike in anger. Rear shocks look to have been replaced with more modern units, and the seller indicates some extra pieces are available. The bike looks clean, and the starting bid of $16,500 is market correct (even if the Buy It Now is rather high). This would make a fantastic collector, vintage racer, or track-day standout. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500
Yamaha November 27, 2020 posted by

Been There Done That – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 with Just 1,972 Miles !

Introduced in 1982 as the closest thing to a race bike on the road, and certainly one of the last two-stroke street bikes available here, Yamaha’s RZ350 can be found in all prices and conditions.  With its sights set on the top of the hill, this later Fla. example has impossibly low miles and almost flawless condition.

1985 Yamaha RZ350 for sale on eBay

The early -80’s brought the Yamaha Power Valve System to their two-strokes, and it helps the engine run just fine around town.  But the 55 rated horsepower are available up at 9,000 rpm, requiring a more advanced set of rider skills.  Racey looks are helped by the perimeter frame and drop-in fuel tank, just like real racers of the day.  Dual front disks were new on a lighter-weight machine, and compensate for the lack of engine deceleration on a smoker.  Suspension wasn’t fancy, just preload adjustable but good quality like the rest of the build, and the gold-trimmed alloys had a light look.

An expert might be required to find something to quibble about on this RZ, and you’d suspect an odometer rollback if not for the museum condition.  Factory pipes look sharp and dispense with the catalyzer.  Comments from the eBay  auction:

Kenny Roberts Edition purchased from original owner earlier this year. Great condition very little patina  two small little touched up chips one on tank and fairing smaller then pencil eraser in front of gas cap the blue stripe is starting to shrink I don’t know if its from gas or what but that’s the only complaint I have with the bike because the rest of it is killer front forks are clean with very minimal rash the rims and controls are in great shape and look awesome. I have original pipes and tool kit look at the pics they tell the story look at them well please ask any questions or more pic’s if needed and the bike runs great . Miles are 1975 and the bike is all original not restored and shows extremely well for a 35 year old bike that hasn’t been monkeyed with and adult owned and cared for.

Like real estate, they’re just not making any more RZ350’s, so this owner can wait until his whopping buy-it-now seems sensible or someone makes an offer.  Not sure this year is CARB legal even with the original exhaust, but a knowledgeable reader will likely sing out.  The alternate livery doesn’t scream Kenny Roberts like the yellow, but it’s there.  You can usually hear me groan about bikes destined for the carpet, but this one is really too nice for anything but an occasional spin around the block.

-donn

Been There Done That – 1985 Yamaha RZ350 with Just 1,972 Miles !
Honda September 15, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing – 1982 Honda CB450T with 1,682 Miles !

Update 11.04.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc


Accompanying bigger silver and blue Freddie Spencer replicas to the showroom, Honda’s 1982 CB450T had nice performance for a mid-size, and brilliant looks.  RSBFS fan Bill has been around concours winners for a while now, and presents his just-about-perfect CB450T.


1982 Honda CB450T Collector For Sale

Since the Dream days, Honda has always made room for a middle-weight somewhere in their line-up.  The CB450T might be the ultimate parallel twin, with CB900F styling – a 9,500 rpm redline, SOHC and three valves per cylinder pushing 43 hp.  As Honda would do, engineers put some neat stuff in, 9.1:1 compression and a 6-speed transmission, while bean counters stipulated the rear drum brake and emissions-compliant 30mm Keihin carburetors.  Stylists carried the day with the Comstar wheels and stripes that flowed from tank to the upturned seat spoiler, and just needs a number plate to channel the number 19 CB750F AMA Superbike.

Bill has been following RSBFS since the early days, and knows his way around perfect, having placed Honda bikes in the AMA museum and cars in two leading Honda collections.  He wandered through many CB450T’s before finding his example, several years ago now.  But best to let Bill describe:

MINT condition

One year only model. Honda made the CB400T for 1980 & 1981…but ONLY the CB450T [for 1982] got the extra 50cc and the Silver Freddie Spencer paint scheme, with the uber rare rear spoiler…like the bigger…and matching…CB750F and CB900F.

Last year for Honda SOHC

Honda made about 4,600 total production for US market, about 3,100 were made in the black paint with red and orange strips….only about 1,500 were in the Freddie Spencer Replica AMA Superbike race colors (Pleiades silver with 2 tone blue stripes).

Mine has: 1,682 orig miles from new, ALL fluids new with less than 25 miles including  brakes/ you can literally remove the brake pads and lick them…they are cleaner than your dinner plate, bike always kept in climate controlled, carpeted garage as seen in pics. No stories, no excuses, no rips, tears, no BS…it is FLAWLESS period. Even the chain is immaculate. Bike stays on battery tender 100% ready to go.

Bike has 1 mile on brand new tires..yes ONE (1)

I am second owner from new, I’ve owned since 2012, I am 60 years old, prior owner was 60 when I bought it from him.

Only mods to bike are PERIOD CORRECT K&N gloss black 1.5” lower handle bars and short stem black mirrors. YES, YES I have the original high bars and long stem chrome mirrors and they are ‘as new’ too.

Bill asks $4,500 is open to offers.

Freddie Spencer is certainly due a commemorative, having given the best part of his riding career to Honda.  Beside many AMA Superbike race wins, Spencer helped Honda develop the NR500, NS500, and NSR500, and took both the MotoGP 500cc and 250cc championships in 1985.  The ’82 CB450T is a single year special, partly a technology demonstrator for the SOHC drivetrain, and a great tribute in silver and blue.  Bill has a lot of expertise around the brand, and has curated his CB450T to museum level.

Bill has his CB450T in suburban D.C.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1982 Honda CB450T with 1,682 Miles !
Yamaha June 12, 2020 posted by

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400

Most running, driving bikes with 40-plus years on have taken some kind of rebuild, and this 1977 RD400 is no exception.  This recent completion has had soup to nuts attention with some nice upgrades.

1977 Yamaha RD400 for sale on eBay

Though regulators in the western hemisphere were already thinking of two strokes in the past tense, Yamaha had a world-wide market to consider, and put a lot of new engineering into the 1976 RD400.  New crankcases were required for the 44 hp twin, and without the counter-balancer required in a four-stroke, resulted in a lightweight power unit.  CDI ignition and rubber engine mounts civilized the new 400.  Chassis and suspension were pretty UJM, but disk brakes and cast wheels were a peek into the future for a small-bore.  Stylists used black mechanicals and chrome exhaust to highlight the tank color.

Offered by a southern Conn. restoration shop, this RD shows just 15,843 miles and recent rebuild of the engine and pretty much everything else.  The blacked-out fenders and yellow wheels update the looks quite a bit, and performance improvements from the DG expansion chambers, K&N filters and remote reservoir shocks can be anticipated.  Nice list of new or rebuilt components from the eBay auction:

This is a very clean custom eye catching RD400 The engine was rebuilt 2 years ago .50 over.  It has very little mileage since the build. Very Sharp. Very clean. It has some desirable mods for the street.  Tuned and timed. Very quick response, nice power band. 

New:  Custom paint & decals w/Matching rims. Very clear gauges. OEM style mirrors. Replacement controls. Grips. Cables. Tires & tubes. Clutch. Fork tubes, seals, dust boots and polished lower fork housings.

Polished heads. Chain and sprockets. Performance master cylinder and clutch levers. New calipers. Rebuilt rear master cylinder. Braided brake lines. Rear sets from HVC. OEM signals & rear tail light. Rebuilt carbs w/pod filters, new jets. Custom seat. RFY rear Nitrogen charged  gas shocks.

Very nice DG chambers – No road rash.  Note: Chain Guard will be installed after modification. 

Lighter than everything comparable, the RD400’s non-linear powerband made friends with reviewers at Cycle World, who called it one of the ten best in 1976 and covered it as recently as 1993.  Yamaha kept honing the two-stroke twin, going back down to a 350, adding catalysts and liquid cooling.  After the two-wheeler was retired in 1995, the powertrain lived on in the Banshee quad, and helped parts availability for RD owners.  This example has a few days to run and hasn’t met the reserve, but the sensible restoration looks good enough to get there.

-donn

Can’t Quit – 1977 Yamaha RD400
MZ June 5, 2020 posted by

German Exotica: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

Sadly overlooked now, the MZ 1000S is a seriously versatile bit of German exotica. The Motorrad und Zweiradwerk name may not be familiar to most, but the marque has plenty of racing history and pedigree. Unfortunately, most of it is in the distant past, and that fact likely hurt sales of the expensive motorcycle from a brand largely unknown by modern sportbike enthusiasts. Brief background lesson: MZ [then “MuZ”] two-stroke racebikes using pioneering expansion-chamber technology developed by Walter Kaaden dominated the smaller racing classes between 1955-1976, a streak that was really only broken when MuZ Ernst Denger defected and took the company’s racing secrets with him to Suzuki…

By the 1990s, the company was largely forgotten by modern riders, except as a producer of outdated, smoky machines really only suitable for sale in countries behind the Iron Curtain. A reborn company with a line of motorcycles built around a common platform and powered by Yamaha’s 660cc 5-valve single and 5-speed gearbox got good reviews and soldiered on for a few years, but the MZ 1000S was the company’s first real foray into big four-stroke motorcycles.

Conceived as a sport-touring machine, it looks far more exotic than most bikes that typically fit that job description. Chunky and very angular, the design doesn’t come across as overly busy or contrived. It just looks classy and confident, a little mature. It was well received by the motoring press, but the 1000S was expensive and maybe a bit too conservative for its price tag. Power came from a 998cc parallel twin that meant character and a meaty powerband, as well as compact dimensions. The expected vibration was quashed by modern balance shafts, and a six-speed cassette gearbox seems to have been included for bragging rights, since quick trackside gearing changes don’t otherwise seem to fit into the design brief.

The MZ 1000S, along with a pretty wild-looking naked version, were sold for just a few years before production ceased. Many have been well-maintained and are available for a fraction of what they cost new. This one has a shade under 2,400 miles and is fitted with some good quality if slightly gauche aftermarket exhausts, but includes the originals if these aren’t to your your taste.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale

You are bidding on a 2005 MZ 1000S sportbike with extremely low miles, in great condition, and ready to ride. I have owned a couple of these in the past, and got this one back from a gentleman that owns 4 of them, whom I sold this one to about 4 years ago. The bike has only 2383 miles on her and is ready for the road. Here are the details.

As I mentioned, I sold this bike to a friend that has 4 others,and recently got it back from him. Unfortunately, I am trying to “thin the herd”, and need to concentrate on my other projects.

The bike has a new battery, all brake & clutch fluids were just changed, along with new synthetic motor oil & filter. Bike fires right up, and runs great though the 6-speed cassette transmission. These bikes are rated at 100HP, but really designed as a “sport tourer”, as opposed to a full on sport bike. Fully adjustable suspension both front & rear, as well as dual Nissin front disc brakes which makes for great handling & stopping. The previous owner installed the Jardine muffler set and they sound great! Have the original mufflers that will go with the bike.

Some minor nick ,and minor scratches in the paintwork here & there, but nothing major. Looks great all around. All lights,gauges work as they should.

There is a cult following for these worldwide, and a lot of the consumable parts are readily available (brake pads, oil filters, chains, etc.), and any model specific parts are available from Grahams Motorcycles in the UK. Over the years,anything I have needed to order for various other MZs, I have received from Grahams within 7-10 days. Fantastic German build quality, and craftsmanship for a reasonable price. There are a lot of Chinese bikes that cost more than this bike, and can’t hold a candle to it!

The bike has a clear title, original owner’s manual, and a copy of the factory workshop manual.

Overall, a really nice bike that needs to be ridden, as opposed to sitting in my garage while I work on other projects. Offered at a very fair “Buy It Now” price,or feel free to shoot me a serious offer.

Don’t be scared off by servicing or parts availability: these are supposed to be easy enough to work on, assuming you have a mechanic willing to deal with a bike they’ve never even heard of, and many components are still available from overseas. Look, you obviously won’t get a warranty with this bike, but miles are very low and At $4,350 you honestly should take a chance on this one if you’re a fan of practical sportbikes with rarity and tons of character.

-tad

German Exotica: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale
Kawasaki March 7, 2020 posted by

Before Kris – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1

Update 3.7.2020: We first posted this KR-1 in September of last year. It’s back on eBay, this time with a buy-it-now of $8,400. Links updated. -dc

Kawasaki had a tiger by the tale in 1988, and for a season or two the KR-1 bested every RGV, TZR and NSR.  Coming out of a collection, this KR-1 looks to have missed the scrapes most 250cc two-strokes got caught up in.

1988 Kawasaki KR-1 for sale on eBay

Kawasaki’s 249cc two-stroke might have been furthest from a real race bike, as there wasn’t a factory presence in the 250 category.  Still the snappy parallel twin, with balance shaft, was eminently tuneable and the package very light.  The 55 hp produced by the Integrated Power Valve System worked beautifully with just 271 lbs. of dry weight.  The frame looked overbuilt but was a light alloy, and 41mm forks were up front with dual discs.  Out back there was the Uni-Trak monoshock and an 18-inch rear wheel.  Pillion accommodations put the lie to racey looking bodywork.

This Seattle owner has a few classic sportbike auctions going, and goes into detail about their KR-1:

Recently completely serviced and detailed with clear Washington state title. The KR-1 is considered to be the fastest and more lively two stroke 250 sports bike compared to all the other models in its class. The model was never imported in to the USA and is probably the rarest model in the 250cc two stroke sports bike category around the world. This particular Kawasaki KR-1 has just 8,298 miles, the bike is mostly all original and in exceptional preserved condition.

The body work is all original and is in very good condition, there are absolutely no cracks on any of the body panels but there are some minor nicks and scrapes. The wheels are perfect with no rock chips or scratches anywhere. The frame and engine have no major corrosion and are nice and clean. Overall cosmetically this bike is in very nice condition.

The bike runs and rides great, and shifts smoothly through all 6 gears. The carburetors were recently ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted, and a full service tune-up was performed which included new spark plugs, chain, air filter, brake pads, oil change, new tires, and fluids flushed. All of the lighting, switches, and electrical components work as they should.

These bikes were never imported into the USA, and very few were exported outside of Japan to any other countries so this is a very rare  Kawasaki model. 

Kawi and Suzuki traded the “fastest 250” back and forth a few times, with the KR-1S snatching it back before the factory decided to focus on their four stroke offerings.  Though Suzuki had staying power, the KR-1 stole the moment in the very late -80’s.  Early interest in the auction says the hammer might fall at a high price, but the new owner will have a sparkling and rare example.

-donn

Before Kris – 1988 Kawasaki KR-1
Laverda January 23, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

Update 6.18.2020: This bike is SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

We don’t post a ton of “classic” sportbikes here, but some motorcycles transcend the era in which they were built: the bevel-drive Ducati 900SS, the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, Norton Manx, Vincent Black Shadow, Kawasaki ELR, Honda CBX, and this bright orange Laverda SFC are iconic enough that they fit in just fine among machines decades newer. Quite literally a race bike with lights, the SFC or “Super Freni Competizione” was a high water mark for the marque, and always makes me sad they’re not currently in business. I think the world has room for a stylish, overbuilt motorcycle with great handling and Italian charisma. I picture something like a Triumph Thruxton R with Ducati SportClassic style…

At the heart of the machine was an air-cooled, 744cc two-valve, overhead-cam parallel twin supposedly patterned after Honda’s CB77 Superhawk and built to last, with five main bearings. The SFC shared the same engine with the more street-oriented SF1, although the SFC included the usual period upgrades to improve performance: larger valves, head work, different cams, balanced and polished internals, bigger carbs… The result was somewhere between 71hp and 81hp, depending on the year. They were all hand-built and dyno-tested and rolled out pretty much ready to compete in endurance racing events. Just remove the lights and add a numberplate.

Unlike other Italian manufacturers of the period, Laverda’s goal was to use the very best parts in their motorcycles, regardless of origin. So while the suspension and frame were by Verlicchi and Ceriani or Marzocchi, respectively, they used Nippon-Denso electrics, and Bosch ignition components. It’s significant that Laverda named their bike after its braking ability: Super Freni Competizione basically means “super competition brakes” and the early machines featured a massive magnesium brake drum out front with a similar unit out back.

Later machines moved to twin discs out front, with a matching disc in the rear, but the result was the same and Laverdas stopped as well as they went. In 1974, the frame was updated to lower the center of gravity and reduce weight, and to improve handling with revised suspension geometry. Fewer than 600 SFCs were ever made, making this one of the rarest examples of an already exclusive marque.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

At only approx 541 units produced, the Laverda SFC is one of the best bikes for the buck you can collect and ride! this is a street legal factory race bike that pumps out approx. 70HP, it’s fun, fast and vicious– to me the SFC is the pinnacle of 70’s Italian sport bikes, it hits all the marks and its built like a tank. This is the closest bike in feel to a Lamborghini Miura.

At this point I can say with some authority, that I have owned, bought and sold more SFC Laverda’s then just about anyone in the US, if you look in previous sales, this bike is just 12 bikes later than the last SFC that came through the shop.

Every SFC is slightly unique, every bike has a story. This particular example has been in private ownership for the last 10 years, the current owner had the noted Laverda craftsman Scott Potter do a complete frame up rebuild with the intention to ride her on the beautiful California coastal roads. At this point a new Steel tank was acquired and paint matched to the rest of the bodywork, new parts were used as needed and the rear shocks were upgraded.

As the bike had been sitting, I decided to give her a once over and clean and replace the jets, set the points. After putting in some fresh fuel, this BEAST roared back to life. The time and money spent on the rebuild was obvious as the quick pull of the throttle felt the parallel twin whip the bike back and forth, the feel of the SFC is unmistakable. BUY, RIDE, COLLECT.

WORLDWIDE SHIPPING IS AVAILABLE

Feel free to call me 929-264-7212 or email via my website – motoborgotaro.com

1974 LAVERDA SFC DETAILS –

  • Frame #17160
  • Engine #17160
  • Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
  • Borrani aluminum wheel rims
  • Steel tank
  • Ceriani suspension * rear is Marzocchi
  • Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
  • High quality aluminum replica gas tank
  • Nippon Denso instruments
  • Smaller European taillight

Original parts included * Original fiberglass tank and original pipes

If you’re not familiar with Moto Borgotaro, they’re a restoration shop over in Brooklyn, New York and have had a number of very nice Laverdas pass through their hands. This example looks basically perfect, with just 4,304 miles on it, and the seller is asking $58,000.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale